Soldier of the Mist/Soldier of Arete Themes
A central theme in Soldier of the Mist by Gene Wolfe is isolation. Latro, the main character in the story, is isolated from the rest of the world. His head was injured during battle and he lost his comrades. Because of his injury, he has amnesia and cannot remember anything about the previous day. Therefore, he has to write down everything that happens to him so that he can have something to refer to the next morning. Due to his memory loss, Latro finds it difficult connecting with people, which isolates him.
Superstition is another theme in the novel. Latro can talk to goddesses and spirits. These supernatural beings live among the people but they cannot be seen or spoken to, except by Latro. The fact that he can see the supernatural works to both his advantage and disadvantage.
Another theme in the book are the Greco-Persian wars. Latro loses his memory as he fights for King Xerxes of Persia. The events of the story unfold because of one of the wars between Greece and Persia. The author sheds some light on how the Persian army potentially perceived the Greek Confederacy.